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Tiled Landscape & Level Streaming

Hello everyone,

me and my friends currently started experimenting with an open world setting, getting ourselves familiar with the engine and its features.

Our approach was to chose a real place in the world, export a heightmap from it and then use UE’s terrain generator to actually generate the entire terrain in one piece.

My research about open world projects in UE4 showed that with this approach it would be impossible to use any level streaming later because this would require to generate a tiled landscape. The landscape itself is 8 by 8 km. Of those 64 m² more or less only 30% are usable, the rest are steep mountains.

My questions are:

  1. Are tiled landscapes a requirement for level streaming or did I misunderstand something?
  2. Why is level streaming recommended for open worlds when UE does have a nice LOD system?
  3. What size per tile would you recommend for our 64m² map?
  4. Are there any free alternatives for software like world machine or l3dt?
  5. Are tiled landscapes the only way to work on the map with multiple Leveldesigners?

Best Regards and thanks in advance
Albi

push (took a lot of time to approve this post)

  1. you can always convert. You have the height map. That’s all that really matters. Several programs or knowledge of how to can easily lead you into splitting it up to auto generate tiles.

  2. The LOD system works just fine. Not sure where you get that its “not nice”. There’s absolutely nothing about changing geometry based on distance that can be either nice or not nice… it’s just geometry changing at a distance (based on the size of the item on screen).

  3. more tiles = more draw call, more tiles = more occlusion.
    more draw calls = less performance. More occlusion = more performance. It’s a delicate balance.
    start with the optimized values suggested in the landscape documentations.

  4. There are, but in the end if you learn to just use Grass Gis and Python plus Photoshop you are usually better off.
    an heightfiled is just a very particular image in which the data matches world elevation on a Pixel To Meter basis.

Ei: a DTM at 30m means that 1 pixel in the image is 30 meters in the world.

If you therefore multiply the map width/height * 30 you get a 1:1 size file. (Which you can then split based on needed map size manually).

  1. no, but they help split the work and pool it back together since you can load/unload tiles at will.
    with the new landscape layers you can just share a project and nondestructively collaborate now anyway.

additionally, the new landscape blueprint brush tools may make it possible to easily smooth the terracing you inevitably generate when you stretch 30 or 50 meters from 1 pixel without the need for Grass Gis or any particular program.
however a proper terrain model will often have ridge lines, road splines, and other details you may be able to import, so learning Grass Gis or an equivalent is not a bad idea for at least 1 member on the team.

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Hey [USER=“3140864”]MostHost LA[/USER]

Thank you so much for you answers, helped me a lot! :slight_smile:

Best Regards

Thank you I was looking for 2 of the answers you posted